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COLLECTION — item: 1 Identifier: HUY 218

Receipt and warrant for Massachusetts state pension payment to Anthony Vassall Digital

Scope and Contents

Receipt from Anthony (Tony) Vassall to Massachusetts for £12 payment in full, acknowledged by his mark, an elongated “T,” on April 21, 1792. The inscription dockets the verso of a warrant signed by Massachusetts Governor John Hancock in Boston on February 7, 1792, ordering state treasurer Alexander Hodgdon to pay Anthony Vassall the sum of £12 for one year’s pension, to be disbursed from the proceeds of the estate of absentee John Vassall of Cambridge.


  • 1792


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.


0.03 cubic feet (1 pamphlet binder)

Biographical note on Tony Vassall

Tony Vassall (1713?-1811) was an African American farmer and farrier in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Tony was enslaved by Henry Vassall in Cambridge in 1741 and remained enslaved there until the American Revolutionary War, when Henry’s widow, Penelope, along with other members of the Loyalist Vassall family, fled Massachusetts. After he was effectively freed, Tony chose to take Vassall as his surname. Vassall generally used the forename Tony, but contemporary legal records referred to him as Anthony.

He later bought a house and farm in Cambridge and worked as a farrier, providing equine hoof care.

Tony Vassall died in Cambridge on September 2, 1811.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, August 2019; accession 2020.042.

Online access

This document has been digitized and is available online.

Related Materials

In the Massachusetts State Archives
  1. Massachusetts Anti-Slavery and Anti-Segregation Petitions; Massachusetts Archives Collection. v.186-Revolution Petitions, 1779-1780. SC1/series 45X. Massachusetts Archives. Boston, Mass. v.186:p.313-314: Petition of Anthony Vassall:
  2. Massachusetts Anti-Slavery and Anti-Segregation Petitions; Massachusetts Archives Collection. v.231-Revolution Resolves, 1781. SC1/series 45X. Massachusetts Archives. Boston, Mass. v.231:p.114-117: Petition of Anthony Vassall:
In Baker Library, Harvard Business School
  1. Edward Marrett account books, 1750-1780 (Mss:45 1750-1780 M358):


  • Batchelder, S. (1917). Notes on Colonel Henry Vassall (1721-1769) his wife Penelope Royall, his house at Cambridge, and his slaves Tony & Darby .. Cambridge, Mass.
  • Bell, J.L. (2012) “George Washington’s Headquarters and Home, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site Historic Resource Study.” National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
  • Though Dwelling in a Land of Freedom (U.S. National Park Service). (0AD). Retrieved from

Processing Information

This item was cataloged by Brooke McManus in September 2019.
Link to catalog
Vassall, Tony, 1713?-1811. Receipt and warrant for Massachusetts state pension payment to Anthony Vassall, 1792.
Harvard University Archives
September 25, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

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